Adopt the Program Celebrates One Year of Health and Wellness

Wednesday, 03 February 2010

In January 2009, the National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program launched a new initiative to bring potentially life-saving information to the grassroots fire service by challenging first responders to adopt the Program at the department level. Since then, hundreds of dedicated fire and emergency services personnel have taken the pledge to focus on keeping their hearts, minds, and bodies strong.

As part of the initiative, the NVFC re-launched the Fired Up For Fitness Challenge with many new components. The Challenge, an interactive fitness program that allows firefighters and emergency personnel to track their hours of activity and receive incentive rewards, motivates firefighters to stay fit so that they are better equipped to help those who depend on them. The updated version challenges users to meet certain fitness goals over the course of a year, and provides exciting new rewards as participants reach each benchmark. Departments can also make the Challenge a contest between their own members using the points tracking tool on their department landing page to provide further motivation for participants.

From January 15, 2009, through January 15, 2010, fifty-five first responders have successfully completed the Fired Up For Fitness Challenge. The Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program congratulates all of the men and women who accepted and met the Challenge in 2009. Keep up the great work! You can still use the tracking tool to monitor your continued fitness progress even after completing the Challenge.

Ty Drage of Loveland (CO) Fire & Rescue earned the most points of any Fired Up For Fitness participant in the past year, logging just under 1,000 activity hours. He said that a recent transfer from fire prevention to a truck company inspired him to bring his physical fitness up another notch to feel prepared for the physical challenges of truck work.

"I hope that more fire departments across the country encourage their members to improve their physical fitness levels," says Drage. "With the high numbers of health-related firefighter injuries every year, we definitely have an issue out there of firefighters in poor physical condition. My fire chief always says, ‘Firefighters are vocational athletes.’ As such, we owe it ourselves and the communities we protect to be the best prepared, most physically fit emergency responders we can possibly be."

Take the Fired Up For Fitness Challenge at www.healthy-firefighter.org/atp. Learn more about the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program.

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